2: Shove
by Wax Jism

He's clutching his bag close to his chest, head down and eyes fixed on the floor, and he doesn't see the foot until he's stumbled over it. Zeke stops and leans against the wall, watches through the corner of his eye.

Casey is a bleeder - it only takes a light jab to his nose and he's dripping blood, swallowing frantically and holding his hands over his face. They pull him up by the clothes, tearing seams and exposing winter pale skin and fading bruises. Zeke breathes slowly, forcing it slower. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Casey cries something incoherent, and they drop him on the ground, push him over, hands on his feebly struggling body. He bites off a real scream when someone grabs him by the arm.

Zeke jerks off in the bathroom during English; lazy strokes, leaning his head against the graffitied wall.


The problem with his room, Casey thinks, is that it's never been a safe place. He has things he'd rather not share with his parents, but they have no compunctions about walking in without knocking. There are limits to how long he can spend in the bathroom without awaking suspicions.

The ninety minutes between the end of the school day and the end of his parents' workday are his own. Time to splash cold water on his face and scrub the dirt out of his hair. There's a cut at the back of his scalp, a small clot of dried blood that crumbles between his fingers, and a sore welt. Probably scraped against a pebble on the floor. He'd been too busy keeping his face from getting kicked in to notice.

He opens a fresh notepad on the computer and writes: 5th Nov. nosebleed - Roger Watson, fist. Shallow cut, back of the head - all of the fuckers, floor.

He saves it in a locked folder. He's got a log of every single bruise, cut and scratch, starting with the first day of his freshman year. There's only one he hasn't written down. It's healing already - a scratch on the inside of his lip, from teeth. Zeke's teeth. He can't stop poking at it with his tongue. Every time he does, there's a tiny burn in the pit of his stomach, a quick fluttering; like a butterfly with radioactive wings.

He shuts his eyes tightly, tight enough to make his face hurt, and slides his hand into his pants, quickly. He still feels ashamed about touching himself; he can't figure out why, but he can't stop it, either. Touching himself and thinking about Zeke biting his lip makes it worse. Or better. Both.

He sucks his lower lip between his teeth and bites down lightly. The wound opens again, little pain, taste of metal, and he changes his grip and makes the strokes harder, almost too hard. He keeps his eyes closed.

The front door opens and his mother's voice calls his name. He yanks his hand out of his pants and breathes deeply to get out of the jerk-off headspace and back into good-son mode. "Hi, mom!" he yells.

"I'm not deaf, honey," she says, but he hears her smile. He washes his hands before he goes to help with dinner.


"How was school?" his dad asks when they're all chomping on pork chops and veggies to the mellow tunes of Barry Manilow.

"Sucked," Casey mutters into his pile of overcooked carrots.

"What's that?"

"It was fine. Professor Furlong thinks we might go to St Paul for the science fair next semester."

"That's nice, honey," his mother says.

"The Hornets are playing tonight," his dad says. Casey pretends to have his mouth full.

He's cleaned his plate and is making his getaway when the doorbell rings. His mother goes to open the door and he takes the opportunity to slink upstairs.

Blessed calm in his room; nothing but the comforting hum of the mac and whatever moved in his brain. He feels restless and jittery and thinks about taking an extended shower. It's too early, though: he'll get looks from his mother and knowing smirks from his father, and he can't handle that today. They have no idea, none at all.

He looks at the pictures of Delilah on his wall. He's taken all of them. His dad smiles when he sees them, the same smile as when he found his porn mags, the ones under his mattress - and he's heard his parents talk about it one time. His mother's voice, chipper and pleased, "It's so nice to know he's meeting girls. Maybe he'll bring her home," and his dad: "At least he's normal that way, thank God."

Casey thinks about Zeke and stares at Delilah. She's a pipe dream with glossy hair and perfect make up, the honey-skinned star of his dreams for years. Zeke's brutal reality and nightmare fodder.

"Casey?" his mother calls from downstairs. He's tuned out the voices - he's not interested in visitors. The neighbours, probably. Old and nosy and always asking him about school, about friends and girlfriends, about all the things he'd rather not talk about.

He contemplates ignoring her, but finally yells, "What?" She's stubborn, and he doesn't want her bursting in here to scream in his ear.

"Your friend's here!"

He sits up. "My-- what did you say?" He can count his friends on one finger, and Carlton moved to California two years ago. They email each other. Casey wants to move after him.

"Your friend, honey." She asks something of the visitor and Casey hears an answer. He doesn't recognise the voice immediately, but his skin is crawling and he knows this is bad news. "Oh, right. Your friend Zeke," his mom says and he stops breathing for a while.

Footsteps on the stairs; his mother's clip clap of heels, followed by the light treads of sneakered feet. Casey sits numb and helpless in his chair. The window is closed, and there's no way he'd make it out before--

"--in here. Maybe I'll bring you up some sodas, Zeke, how about that?" His mother is smiling when she opens the door, a happy smile. No idea, she has no fucking clue, Casey thinks, and Zeke steps into the room.

"Hi, Casey," he says, amiably. "I thought I'd come by to entertain you."

"Lovely, lovely," Casey's mother says. "I'll be downstairs, boys."

She's gone and he's stuck. Utterly trapped. He can't move. Zeke smirks at him. "Nice pad, mind if I look around?" He pokes through the books on the bookshelves.

He has a Band-Aid on his hand, and Casey realises that it's covering teeth marks. The thought makes him sick to his stomach, sick and scared and excited and weak.

Zeke's found Delilah on the wall, he's poking at the pictures, at a candid one Casey took with the zoom lens when Delilah was spreading her legs in a split, laughing and lifting her arms, surrounded by slightly blurred cheerleaders.

"Hot," Zeke says. Casey stares at his hands. He's bitten the nail on his left thumb past the quick and it hurts. "Stalker tendencies, Casey?"

"What are you doing here?"

"Going through your stuff," Zeke says without turning away from the wall of Delilah pictures. "Yeah, hot shit. Wish she wasn't fucking Stan the jock? Wish he wasn't the one who gets to slide those tiny skirts up and--"

"Shut up," Casey says, but it comes out a whisper. His face burns; so much heat that he thinks his eyes might boil in their sockets.

"Okay," Zeke says. He walks around the room and Casey waits.

Zeke lifts the mattress and finds the decoy Playboys. "Boring, boring, boring... Miss July is tasty, though..."

Casey waits. Zeke is a professional snoop, like Delilah - the one thing they have in common. Casey can't decide which would be worse; Delilah going through his stuff, or Zeke. It doesn't matter. Zeke's already here, and he's just dropped onto all fours to peek under the bed. He's more thorough than Casey's parents.

He's humming under his breath, a tuneless little jingle. Then he breaks off and Casey knows he's found the compartment. There are tears stinging behind his eyelids and he screws his eyes shut.

"Oh, Casey?"

He doesn't open his eyes.

"Caaaaasey, Caseycaseycasey. Open your eyes, baby, open those big blues."

There's Zeke standing in front of him with a box in his hands, and Casey realises he obeyed without even noticing. He feels a sting of hatred, the kind that sometimes, once in a blue moon, makes it possible for him to fight back, to bite and kick and scream filth at the top of his lungs. It's waking inside him, but he can't let it out. He's left with nothing but the lazy roll of his stomach and the pool of shameful heat in his groin. Zeke's standing with his hips cocked, completely at ease and watching him with a tiny smile.

"Everyone has a secret hideyhole, hasn't they? Little secrets."

"Please," Casey whispers; it slinks over his lips unbidden.

"Maybe, maybe," Zeke says and opens the box. For a second, he's absolutely still. Casey blinks, and the moment's gone, Zeke's taking out the pictures and throwing them on the bed. One flutters to the floor - a shot of Zeke down by his car, leaning against the hood and grinning at someone walking by, shirt open in the heat. The sun was blazing that day and Casey was sitting on the bleachers with his camera and watched Zeke slip on his sunglasses and slide into the driver's seat of his car with the grace of long familiarity.

The picture isn't perfect - there's some overexposure and it's not quite sharp. Casey doesn't have to look closer to know that it's a little crumpled in one corner and there are fingerprints on it, smudged over the angles of Zeke's shoulders and the hollows over his collarbones.

"Aren't you just a little bundle of mysteries?" Zeke says. He's holding the porn now, the other porn that Casey's parents don't know about. The boys. He doesn't have much, but he's collected a little pile of clippings and printouts. Zeke's running his fingers over a Playgirl model's sculpted pecs. "This why you never got into sports? Too much temptation, all those jocks with their buns of steel and their locker room games? You ever get anywhere? Ever sucked cock, Casey? Don't tell me I was the first down your pants, that would just be sad, now."

"Don't--" he says. "Just."

"What? You just wanted to? Gangbang in the showers; you'd do the whole team, wouldn't you? If they'd stop beating the shit out of you every day they might figure out that there are other uses for nerds like you. What would you think about that?"

Zeke's voice is low and soft, almost hypnotic, and Casey stares at him when he drops the box on top of the photos on the bed and turns back, looks at Casey, his smile smile growing into a smirk.

Casey curls his hands into fists. "Fight back," Zeke told him. Hell, yeah. Maybe it's time. Maybe today is the day.

He gets up. Zeke grins wider and closes in, and Casey backs, helplessly, but preparing. Letting it build. He hits the wall and braces himself. Zeke's so close he can feel his breath on his face.

"Do you boys want some cake?" Casey's mother yells from downstairs. Zeke moves very quickly, while Casey's still reeling, and claps his hand over Casey's mouth, curls his fingers into his mouth, pushes against his teeth. Casey opens his mouth helplessly, and his hands hang limp by his sides. His breath keeps hitching, like his lungs don't want to do their job anymore. Zeke's fingers slip into his mouth and he tastes the salt on the skin mixed with a hint of motor oil.

"Just ate before I came, Mrs Connor!" Zeke shouts, his eyes holding Casey's. Then the fingers are gone from his mouth, and sliding around his neck instead. "You can touch me," he whispers. He's not smiling now; his eyes are wide. Casey can't move, can't decide anything but his hand decides for him, travels through half a foot of air and finds denim and hardness underneath.

Zeke hisses softly and says, "Suck my dick, Casey," Casey knows he'll do it. Today isn't the day he fights back, and he fumbles with Zeke's belt and the fly and drops to his knees, yielding to soft pressure on his head.

He's never seen any dick but his own this close - not even that, because he can't suck his own dick but he's putting his mouth over Zeke's, trying to suck it and gagging and trying and it's hard to breathe and his knees ache, but it tastes salty and bitter and not as bad as he would have imagined. Zeke's dick is heavy and silky on his tongue, blunt against the back of his mouth, and Zeke moves in small jerks. Casey touches what he can, while he can; even through the humiliation he knows that this is SEX, more than a handjob in the men's room. This is what he didn't think he'd get in ten years, not with his luck.

Not that he's feeling lucky.

He goes too deep and can't breathe at all for a few seconds, his nose almost pressed against the springy curls of pubic hair, his hands struggling against the smooth skin on Zeke's hips.

Zeke's hands twist in his hair, holding him down until it feels like he'll choke or puke or both, and then lets him go and he sucks in a harsh, painful breath and realises he's rock hard and aching. He drops one hand to the front of his pants and rubs because he can't not.

Zeke groans, a throaty, foreign sound, and Casey comes in his pants. Zeke shivers and thrusts against his gullet, twice, three times and then his hands tighten in Casey's hair again and Casey's mouth fills with slick, salty heat that flows over his lips and down his throat and up his nose.

He falls back, coughing and tearing up again. He swallows and only then thinks, holy fuck, I swallowed.

Then Zeke's kneeling by him, turning his face up, gently, very gently, but Casey can't trust those hands and he can't stop his mouth from trembling or the tears or the choked whimpers. Zeke's fingers stroke his face, wipe his lips.

"Up, now," Zeke says and pulls him up. Casey sits in his chair, heavily. His head spins. The come is his pants is turning to jelly. He can feel it cooling.

Zeke sits on the bed and pulls his shirt over his open fly, and then Casey's mother's pushing the door open and saying, "I put on coffee. Will you be staying, Zeke?"

Casey wipes frantically at his mouth and bows his head, hunches his back. His mouth tastes like come and he can smell it everywhere, on his hands, his lips, everywhere. How can his mother stand there and smile? She doesn't even see the porn on the bed, the pictures or the flush on Zeke's face.

Zeke smiles beatifically and says, "No, Mrs Connor, I'm on my way home in a second. School day tomorrow. But thank you for the offer. Maybe some other time?"

"Of course! You're always welcome. Right, Casey?"

Casey can't look up to meet her eyes. He nods dully. She leaves.

They sit quietly for a while. The situation in his underwear is starting to get nasty, and finally he has to get up. Zeke follows him to the bathroom, silently, without doing up his jeans.

He stands in front of the sink. Zeke makes no move at all. Finally, Casey has to wash up right there, with Zeke's eyes crawling over him. His hands tremble. He changes underwear and gets back into his pants. Offers Zeke a washcloth.

He wonders if there's anything beyond utter humiliation and if he'll reach that place anytime soon. His back feels weak and bent and he waits with his eyes fixed on his toes.

"I think I'll want those photos," Zeke says, and Casey straightens up and says,

"No!" almost against his will. His photos are his photos, he took them, he made them.

Not that anything's really his, anyway, and he waits for Zeke to ignore him and take them anyway.

Zeke raises his eyebrows. Casey looks back down.

A hand on his neck, sliding around and cupping his jaw, and then Zeke's kissing him softly, no violence here, just lips and tongue and sweetness, and Casey's crying, tasting his own tears. He's never been kissed like this before. He'd never kissed anyone before Zeke.

Then Zeke's gone with a soft, gently ominous, "Catch ya later, Case," and Casey runs back to his room and falls on the bed and bites his knuckles not to cry out loud.


Delilah's talking to Casey when Zeke gets to school, two hours late. He hears the tone of voice and knows immediately, even before he sees Casey with his camera. There's a special tint of contempt in her voice, reserved for people she'd rather not have anything to do with.

She's one of the few people who'd use that kind of voice on Zeke.

He watches Casey trail after her - he swears the guy would wag his tail if he had one - and decides that things should change.